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Beyond Belief: The Moors Murderers: The Story of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley [Paperback]

Emlyn Williams
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jun 1992
What struck terror in the moors murders case was its incomprehensibility ... the victims were utter strangers.. perhaps the greatest value of this book is that it shows us that the human monsters Brady and Hindley were not one and the same, but 2 different kinds of monster.


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (5 Jun 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330020889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330020886
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Emlyn Williams' classic account of the notorious Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who between 1962 and 1965 abducted, brutally abused and murdered five children - Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans - and buried them in shallow graves on Saddleworth Moor, in Lancashire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My own childhood was spent in several small Cheshire towns all close to Hyde and I remember, so well, how the people there spoke and behaved. I remember how we kids played in the streets, or in the woods or down by the river, or out on our bikes from morning till night without parents giving it a thought. I remember the streets of terraced houses, every one of them containing (as Emlyn Williams's bewildered policeman commented, when summoned so urgently to number 16, Wardle Brook Avenue) "a budgie and a Grannie". I remember the bread deliveries in the mornings, the everlasting soft rain, the factory smoke, the children in pixie hoods, how people reacted and how everybody spoke.
Writing immediately after the Moors trial and before so many further facts became known Emlyn Williams, in 1967, got all this nevertheless so exactly right; he was not a great playwright for nothing. If I read his book I am back in that place, at that time. What a pity, really, that such terrible events had to happen around the Hyde district before such a book came to be written but in spite of that, and whatever its factual omissions or inaccuracies, I still think it is a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars have read better on the case... 7 May 2013
By WJ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't like the way this was written, written with the northern accent which made it difficult to read at times, also written a lot in Myras head, in her thoughts at the time which seemed sympathetic, i would prefer to just read facts, that seems like opinion to me... But not all bad, worth a read if your really interested in reading about this fram all angles, but i have read better on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A SIGN OF THE TIMES 27 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read this book when it was first published. Lots has been written since then, some true and more fictional. I sent for it to refresh my memories from the first time, it did not disappoint. Not as shocking today as it was in the 70s, is that a sad sign of the times we live in today? I am not sure.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Vexing Read 14 July 2009
Format:Paperback
While there can be doubt that Emlyn Williams did a great job in writing and researching this book I feel it is overall a book of its time. At times the story reads like a classic murder mystery except we all know "who dunnit" already. The modern day true crime biography is written in a more factual manner and that is what I was expecting. I am not saying that this is the definitive way in which a book like this should be written but I do prefer it to the imaginary conversations that seem to pepper Beyond Belief. Which brings me to the most irritating aspect of this book. The grammar. The schizophrenic way in which Williams jumps from one person to another by way of phonetic spelling is incredibly distracting. One moment you are reading the supposed musings of Ian Brady (written so as to be interpreted as a thick Glaswegian accent) and before you know it, halfway through the paragraph you actually find out that you are now reading Myra's. No quotation marks. No Full stops. And no commas, Time and time again I had to keep re-reading sentences whilst trying not to apply a Scottish accent to absolutely everyone! As I say a good read but overall very trying.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I wasn't born until 1971, so the dreadful crimes of these two didn't mean much to me until I bought this book in 1994. Fair enough, a lot of it IS surmise; Emlyn Williams guesses at dialogue, and fills in the blanks between facts with fiction, but, in my eyes, it's almost as if he were there with them! Certainly a book worth buying, as it is chilling as it is fascinating.
If, like me, you want an insight into the pair, from their births to their incarceration, then this is the book for you.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent study of evil minds 28 May 2001
Format:Paperback
This is a carefully researched and well-written book, focusing on the gruesome murders committed by lovers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. It contains frank depictions of their brutal crimes and tries exceptionally well to comprehend the relationship between Brady and Hindley that most people find unfathomable. Emlyn Williams has done his research and then end product is informative, insightful and shocking. Very good indeed.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All too believable 18 Nov 2002
Format:Paperback
For me Emlyn Williams captures the dreadful scenes and circumstance all too clearly. As someone who was growing up at the time in that area, it brings home, the culture, the environment and the sadly naive world in which we lived then. His use of the narrative to bring home the events works extremely well, yes attempted use of a Northern accent doesn't always work, but in this case, he just about carries it. The descriptions, in some cases are brutal, but the portrayal of the dogged detective work that paid off in the end, stunning. ...
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book 16 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
I was a teenager at the time of the Moors Murders, so can remember the press coverage generated. This book, although now overtaken by events and more recently revealed information, does convey a sense of time and place very well. Emlyn Williams states that part of the work is 'surmise' which is inevitable as the book was written so soon after the events, but it does carry you along and works at putting you into the minds of the murderers. A recomended read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, fascinating book
Beyond Belief: The Moors Murderers: The Story of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

Having been born in Hyde, in 1968, I remember conversations between family and friends about... Read more
Published 6 months ago by clazdana
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moors Murderers
Arrived very promptly.I reccomend this bookwhich I found a rivetting read and simply couldn't put it down until I finihed reading it.
Published 6 months ago by margaret.e.renstead
5.0 out of 5 stars books
well bit off putting buying second hand books but both I have had are like new well over the moon thanks
Published 6 months ago by michael bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars read this as a young girl . as a pensioner wanted to read again ....
second time .first time 23 yrs now 66yrs. well written and informative all pages . looks well used but no problem
Published 9 months ago by sheila roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars book
i bought this book as my freind had borrowed hers to someone else who had not returned it. the item arrived in time and in good condition
Published 14 months ago by vw
5.0 out of 5 stars Replaced for Dad
Book was in excellent condition - Dad really please I had been able to replace this - for 1p brilliant!!
Published 19 months ago by Geordie
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, yet tragically brilliant
I have read several books on the subject, including Carol Ann Lee's brilliant "One of Our Own". This however is I believe the first book that was written on the subject. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jason Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
I read this book in 1976, mainly on the beach in Weymouth, it was chilling to read. The facts are there, enhanced by what on the face of it is trivia but a trivia that brings this... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Johnno
1.0 out of 5 stars A Novel
I read this quite few times in my youth then read it again recently. It is a novel. He did not meet the criminals he describes so intimately in it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Anti Troll Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric
Sorry for the people who can't read dialects. Irvine Welsh would be off-limits. A genuinely atmospheric,haunting read. I knew the Manchester described.
Published 23 months ago by scribbler
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